Meet Me Tonight In Atlantic City

September 11, 2017


OK, I feel like I need to tell you where I was recently.

We were in Atlantic City, NJ for the last few days for (believe it or not) the Miss America Pageant. This is because Mrs. Doomsy’s niece was one of the contestants. Believe me when I tell you that we’re both very proud of her for competing, and I’d love to tell you which one she was, but I haven’t spoken with her about posting on this subject, so I don’t know if she’d appreciate a mention (she was one of the 15 finalists, but did not win – that’s all I’ll say).

I really hadn’t planned to say anything about this because, if not for the family connection, normally I wouldn’t give a fig about the Miss America contest. Not because of anything against the contestants whatsoever, but because of how the whole damn thing is packaged (mainly how they do their best to turn it into something like “American Idol” or “reality” TV in general, which both sicken me to tell you the truth – yeah, I know…just me I guess). Having been at the show live, though, I should point out that they actually do make it a pretty good, involving live event.

Anyway, for the uninitiated, they eliminate all but 15 of the 50 contestants at the beginning of the show, then (for this year, anyway) they have the remaining 15 parade in two-piece swim suits, then 3 get eliminated, then they have the talent competition (2 more off I think), then the evening wear (3 more off), and then 2 rounds of questions (the second round was new this year apparently…more on that shortly) to pare down the list to 5 finalists (I don’t think I have this sequence exactly right, but it went something like that).

Anyway, I want to say something about the second set of questions. This Chris Harrison person (the emcee) and the lady who co-hosted whose name escapes me (don’t watch much TV normally – sorry) said that usually the first round in years past had some light-hearted questions, but this year, they wanted to make the second-round questions tougher and more topical for the 5 finalists.

The questions asked about concussion risk for school-age football players and climate change were good I thought, but other than that, I honestly wished they’d left the politics out of it. Not because these women should not have been allowed to express their opinions (they should), and not because they were probably more erudite than most men on these subjects (they struck me that way anyway – here), but because I just wished they hadn’t “gone there” – I just think there are other forums for that stuff, that’s all (such as here?).

And speaking of the questions, someone asked a contestant (can’t recall which one) if they thought Trump colluded with Russia on the election and, if so, what should be done. I thought it spoke volumes, unfortunately, that, when the contestant said she didn’t believe a case had been made or proven yet, the vast majority of the audience cheered (you poor, dumb, deep-fried, corn bread saps, I thought to myself). However, when she finished her answer and said that, if a case were made, those involved should be punished (fair enough, I thought), then the cheering had definitely subsided.

(Again, please don’t think I’m criticizing the contestants. We got a little insight over the past week as to what these women go through for this show, and to say it’s a tortuous grind is an understatement. I thought they all handled themselves amazingly well throughout the show – and in the end, never forget that we’re talking about a TV show here, people – and any answer they gave was incredibly well articulated and showed more forethought than most of us normally display. Any one of them would have been a worthy winner aside from the one chosen.)

And speaking of Cara Mund, the winner (Miss North Dakota – again, a worthy choice), I hope the conventional wisdom won’t be that she won just because she jabbed Generalissimo Trump on climate change. I’m sure that answer didn’t hurt her (as well as her line about anyone potentially winning from any state or small town, or something…true). It also didn’t hurt her that she did a dance number with this pretty crazy move leaping from a chair that she positively nailed.

Overall, as a somewhat interested bystander, I would say that the whole thing was fun (also a contest unto itself watching the women in high heels in front of the Convention Center trying to keep their shoes from getting stuck in the slats of the Atlantic City boardwalk). However, I don’t care to go through it again anytime soon. And of course, congratulations to all of the contestants.

And of course, I couldn’t help but think of this song.

Update 9/13/17: And gee, this sure was predictable, wasn’t it?

Update 1/26/18: Apologies for lateness with this update – fits, unfortunately, as much as I can tell.

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